Modi’s ‘Digital Theft’: ₹21,000 Crore Robbed from Poor, Condemned by M.K. Stalin

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. K. Stalin has condemned the Modi government for allegedly allowing banks to collect ₹21 thousand crores from customers, primarily the poor, through penalties for not maintaining minimum balances. Stalin criticized the government’s digital initiatives, accusing it of neglecting the welfare of the common people while favoring corporations. According to statistics provided by the Ministry of Finance, banks, including public sector banks and major private banks, imposed penalties totaling ₹21,000 crore on customers since 2018 for failing to maintain minimum balances. Additionally, charges for ATM transactions and SMS services contributed to a total collection of ₹35,000 crore from customers. Despite the government’s push for digital transactions, many individuals inadvertently lost their savings due to these penalties and charges. The ‘Jan Dhan Bank Account’ scheme aimed at ensuring banking access for all, but concerns have been raised over banks withdrawing funds as penalties before customers can access government grants, such as the Women’s Rights Allowance provided by the Tamil Nadu government. Furthermore, changes in ATM transaction policies, reducing free transactions and increasing charges, have added to the financial burden on customers. The introduction of digital transactions under the ‘Digital India’ initiative has led to unaccountable spending, eroding traditional notions of savings, and leaving many feeling financially insecure.

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